Calgary became a city in the Canadian province of Alberta in 2021, with a population of 1,306,784 and a metropolitan population of 1,481,806. As of 2021, it is the third-largest city in Canada and the fifth-largest metro area.
Calgary is in the south of the Canadian province Alberta, on a confluence of the Bow River and the Elbow River, 205 miles (330 km) east of the front ranges of the Canadian Rockies. It is 80 kilometers outside Edmonton and 240 kilometers from the US border. It anchors the south end of an urban area called the Calgary-Edmonton Corridor.
The economy of Calgary includes the energy, financial services, film and television, transportation and logistics, technology, manufacturing, and aerospace sectors. In 2015, Calgary had the highest number of millionaires per capita of any major city in Canada.
Google maps Calgary
Calgary, Alberta, is the largest city in western Canada. It is world-known for its execution in oil and gas research. The city also has a panoramic backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, making it an identifiable feature in Canada.
Calgary is located in southern Alberta near the foothills of the Canadian Rockies and the Canadian Prairies, described as the foothills region. The city is also at a higher elevation, covers a landmass of 825 kilometers squared, and is close to subarctic climates like mountains.
Calgary has four rivers. The Bow River flows south from the west and then joins the Elbow River near Fort Calgary in the downtown area. Nose Creek starts north of Calgary and flows southwest into the Bow River near McKenzie Towne. Fish Creek also starts north, near Calgary, and flows into the Bow River west of Nose Creek.
Two municipal districts surround Calgary: Foothills and Rocky View. Proximate areas beyond the city within the Calgary Metropolitan Region include The City of Airdrie, Chestermere, Strathmore, Langdon, and Okotoks to the East; The Town of Cochrane to the Northwest; The Elbow Valley, Springbank, and Bearspaw.
The City of Calgary has made many annexations over the years to facilitate growth. The most recent annexation in 2007 had the city taking land from Rockyview County and annexing a former hamlet called Shepard. The annexation also allowed the city’s boundaries adjacent to Hamlet of Balzac, Chestermere, and the City of Airdrie.
The air is very clear and humid, and it’s also known as the “City of Sunshine” because you can get up to six hours of sunshine daily. Winter is cold, with little change. Calgary has 106 days when the ground doesn’t freeze per year. In midwinter, a warm wind from the Pacific will bring summer for days to Calgary’s streets and parks.
Within the city, there are areas with a semi-monsoonal humid continental climate and other areas with a subarctic climate. Average temperatures range from 16.5 °C (61.7 °F) in July to −7.1 °C (19.2 °F) in January.
Winter in Calgary is cold, dropping below -20 °C (4 °F) on average for 22 days and -30 (28 °F) C on average 3.7 times per year. However, these freezing temperatures are often interrupted by warm Chinook winds that can raise the winter temperature by 20 °C or 36 degrees Fahrenheit in a few hours and may last several days. As well as these natural changes, Calgary’s proximity to the Rocky Mountains also affects winter temperatures with a mixture of highs and lows, typically resulting in a mild winter for a city in the Prairie Provinces. The wind chill is yet another factor affecting Calgary’s typically windy weather; Calgary’s average wind speed is 8 mph higher than Canada’s average, at 14 mph.
Calgary has a subtropical highland climate and experiences four distinct seasons. In the summer, daytime temperatures range from 10 to 25 °C (50 to 77 °F) and reach an annual average of 30 °C (86 °F) for five days in June, July, and August.
Calgary has the sunniest days in Canada’s 100 largest cities yearly at 332 days. It has 2,396 hours of sun a year and an average of 55% humidity in the winter and 45% in the summer.
Thunderstorms frequently happen in the summer, and most hail storms happen in Alberta. Calgary is prone to storms because it’s close to Hailstorm Alley. In 1991, a storm ripped through Calgary, causing $400 million in damage and making it one of Canada’s worst natural disasters.
Top 10 attractions
Calgary Tower: To find the best views of Calgary, experience the revolving restaurant and observation deck with a glass floor. It is 627m/627 feet above the ground, where you will enjoy an unobstructed 360-degree view of the city, including snowy mountains in the distance.
Calgary Stampede: Calgary Stampede is an event that celebrates the Western heritage of Canada, and it includes activities such as rodeo events, chuckwagon races, blacksmithing competitions, a midway, and more. It has attracted visitors every year since 1923.
Atlas Coal Mine National Historic Site: Atlas is a coal mine that’s been preserved and covers the history of Canadian mining. There are many interactive exhibits, including a tipple (a device for sorting coal), old buildings, and a coal car tour. If you want to be reminded of what it was like to work in a coal mine, there’s also an underground tour experience. As well as being popular with photographers and history enthusiasts, the site is home to many historic structures, including a lamp house, wash house, supply house, and blacksmith.
Fort Calgary: Visit Fort Calgary and explore the history of Calgary. Construction began in 1875, and today the fort is a National Historic Site of Canada. Interactive exhibits, replica barracks, a guided tour, and an interpretive center provide visitors with an immersive experience of those times. When you visit this unique site, try on an authentic Mountie uniform, explore the fort grounds, and enjoy the rivers.
TELUS Spark: Calgary has many attractions, but the Telus Spark Science Center is a highlight. Students and adults will be entertained by exhibitions that teach science by exploring ecology, forensics, human health, robotics, etc. The HD Digital Dome Theatre brings scientific innovations to the screen in this center, featuring hands-on workshops for kids and adults.
The Hangar Flight Museum: The Hangar Flight Museum highlights the history of Canadian Aviation; it showcases historic civilian and military planes. There are exhibits and a flight simulator for kids to experience.
Heritage Park: Heritage Park in Calgary is an open-air museum that provides access to the past. Interactive exhibits make it easy for visitors to experience life before the city modernized. Experiences are provided by costumed interpreters, who recreate life as it was on the Canadian Prairies during the 1860s-1950s.
Calaway Park: Calaway Park is the largest amusement park in Canada’s west, with 34 rides, various fun activities, and many tasty food options.
Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame: The Canada Sports Hall of Fame honors Canada’s most remarkable athletes with an electric 40,000-square-foot space that echoes fans’ roar. Tucked into one of the buildings that hosted the 1988 Winter Olympic Games, interactive exhibits educate visitors about the rules and challenges of more obscure sports and offer the chance to throw pitches for clocked speed, shadow box with Lennox Lewis, attempt a wheelchair race, or balance on skis on a virtual downhill slope.
Glenbow Museum: The Glenbow Museum has artifacts, artworks, and interactive exhibits that highlight the history and culture of indigenous Canadians. Highlights include traveling in Inuit kayaks and pioneer wagons.
Did you know?
Located just outside the spectacular Banff National Park, Calgary is a bustling hub of stylish bars, diverse restaurants, chic boutiques, and green-lawned parks. It hosts the 1988 Winter Olympics and is ideally located to explore Alberta’s great outdoors. With a guided Segway tour, you’ll take in top sites of interest, such as the Bow River, Fort Calgary, Inglewood, St. Patrick’s Island, and the Trans Canada Trail. Discover what Canadians love with an artisanal food and craft beer walking tour. Take time to learn about the First Nations peoples on a guided day trip or explore the mighty Columbia Icefield by coach tour – which can reach from Banff National Park to the southern end of Jasper National Park. From there, it’s just a trip to UNESCO-listed Lake Louise.
- Calgary is the third-largest city in Canada, and the municipality of Calgary covers an area of 1,364.7 km2.
- The city has seen growth spurts, primarily brought on by the booming energy sector, thanks to its excellent quality of life, low unemployment rate, and well-established base of education and culture.
- The 20% growth in population between 2009 and 2019 is attributed to an expanding Calgary, where 80% of Alberta’s population is expected to live by 2046.
- Calgary is the largest city in Alberta, located at an elevation of 1,048 meters (3,430 ft) close to the eastern edge of the Canadian Rockies.
- The town is a renowned center for winter sports and ecotourism, with several large mountain resorts in the surrounding area.
- Its economy mainly concentrates on the oil industry, but agriculture, tourism, and high-tech industries are also important. In 1988, Calgary became the first Canadian city to host the Winter Olympics.
Accommodation in Calgary
There are many ways to find and book cheap accommodation in Calgary. The most popular way is through online booking sites such as Expedia, Travelocity, or Hotels.com. You can also find good deals by calling hotels directly or by searching for last-minute deals. Another option is to stay in a hostel, which can be a great way to meet other travelers. If you’re traveling with a group, you may be able to get a discount by booking through a tour operator. Whatever method you choose, compare prices and read reviews before booking to ensure you get the best deal on accommodations in Calgary.
Further readings: Calgary Wikipedia, Canada driving directions.